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New Marine Highway Projects Seek to Expedite Cargo Transportation

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Transportation announced April 27 the designation of three new marine highway projects.

- The Mississippi and Illinois rivers, previously designated as the M-55 and M-35, connecting Chicago and Minneapolis to New Orleans, will serve as the primary routes for a new container-on-barge service being developed by communities along the rivers.

- The M-495 Potomac River Commuter Ferry Project will connect work and residential centers along the Potomac, Occoquan and Anacostia rivers, providing a waterborne alternative for moving passengers and freight within the region and increasing the resiliency of existing regional transit system. 

- A proposed route will provide access to origins and destinations east of the Hudson River for freight arriving and departing the Port Newark Container Terminal, further enhancing New York Harbor’s cross harbor freight network. 

A marine highway project is a planned or expanded service on a designated marine highway route that provides new modal choices to shippers of cargo, reduces transportation costs, and provides public benefits including reduced air emissions, reduced road maintenance costs, and improved safety and resiliency impacts. Being designated a marine highway project allows DOT resources to be used to assist public project sponsors, ports and other local transportation or economic development agencies in the development of the project. To be eligible, a proposed project must use U.S. documented vessels; transport passengers, containerized freight or trailer-based freight; and operate on a designated marine highway route.

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